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This article is about the television station in Baltimore, Maryland. For the former WJZ-TV located in New York City, see WABC-TV.
Wjz cbs13 baltimore.jpg
Baltimore, Maryland
Branding WJZ 13 (general)
Eyewitness News (newscasts)
Slogan Maryland's News Station; Complete Coverage
Channel Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels 13.1 CBS
Affiliations CBS
Owner CBS Corporation
(CBS Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date November 2, 1948
Callsign meaning named after the former callsign of what is now WABC (AM), which stood for its original location in New Jersey
Sister station(s) WJZ, WJZ-FM, WLIF, WWMX
Former callsigns WAAM (1948-1957)
Former channels Analog:
13 (VHF, 1948-2009)
38 (VHF, 1997-2009)
Former affiliations ABC (1948-1995)
DuMont (secondary, 1948-1955)
Effective power 28.8 kW
Height 295 m
Facility ID 25455
Antenna coordinates 39°20′5″N 76°39′3″W / 39.33472°N 76.65083°W / 39.33472; -76.65083

WJZ-TV, channel 13, is an owned and operated television station of the CBS Television Network, located in Baltimore, Maryland. WJZ-TV's studios and offices are located on Television Hill in the Woodberry section of Baltimore, adjacent to the transmission tower it shares with four other Baltimore television stations.



Baltimore's third television station started on November 2, 1948 as WAAM, owned by brothers Ben and Herman Cohen. Its first broadcast was the 1948 presidential election returns. Its studio was the first in Baltimore specifically designed for television.

Channel 13 was originally an ABC affiliate; it was the second primary affiliate of the fledgling network. Until 1956, it carried a secondary affiliation with the DuMont Television Network, and originated many Baltimore Colts games for DuMont.[1][2]

The Westinghouse Electric Corporation purchased WAAM in 1957 and renamed it WJZ-TV. The WJZ call letters had previously resided on ABC's flagship radio/television combination in New York City, which changed its calls to WABC-AM-FM-TV in 1953. However, Westinghouse's history with that set of call letters went back even further, as it was the original owner of WJZ radio, the flagship station of NBC's Blue Network, which would eventually become ABC.

All of Baltimore's TV stations had fairly short TV towers in the 1940s-50s with WJZ's at just over 700 feet tall. But in 1959, WJZ-TV built the world's first three-antenna candelabra tower and at roughly 1000 foot above average terrain, at the time, it was the tallest free standing TV antenna in the U.S., shared with WMAR-TV and WBAL-TV. The 997-foot (304 m) tower significantly improved the station's coverage in central Maryland, and also added new viewers in Pennsylvania and Delaware and of course Washington, DC. It still operates from this 997-foot (304 m) tower today, which can be seen from Interstate 83 in Baltimore, not to mention from many parts of Baltimore County. The FCC Antenna Structure Registration page gives the tower's height as 997 feet (304 meters).[3],[4]

The WJZ-TV studio and office facility, on Television Hill in Baltimore.

Over the years, WJZ-TV frequently pre-empted ABC programming in favor of local shows and syndicated content from Westinghouse's broadcasting division, Group W (notably the former ABC daytime soap opera Dark Shadows which WJZ-TV pre-empted during the mid 1960s). However, ABC was more than satisfied with channel 13, which was one of its strongest affiliates. Additionally, Baltimore viewers could watch ABC programs on Washington, D.C.'s WMAL-TV/WJLA-TV, whose signal decently covers most of the Baltimore area.

From 1957 to 1964, one of the station's highest-rated programs was The Buddy Deane Show, an in-studio teen dance show similar to ABC's American Bandstand, which WJZ-TV also pre-empted in favor of the Deane program. Deane's program was the inspiration for the John Waters 1988 motion picture Hairspray and its subsequent Broadway musical version, which in turn has been made into a film.

In 1976, Oprah Winfrey became an anchor for the station's 6:00 p.m. newscast. She also co-hosted channel 13's local talk show, People Are Talking with Richard Sher, which premiered on August 14, 1978, and ran until she left for Chicago in 1983. The segment continues to run on the morning newscasts.

In 1994, ABC agreed to an affiliation deal with the broadcasting division of the E.W. Scripps Company, which called for three of Scripps' television stations to become ABC affiliates. ABC agreed to the deal as a condition of keeping its affiliation on Scripps' two biggest stations, WXYZ-TV in Detroit and WEWS in Cleveland. Both stations had been heavily wooed by CBS, which was about to lose its longtime Detroit and Cleveland affiliates to Fox. One of the stations due to switch was Baltimore's then-NBC affiliate, WMAR-TV.

Westinghouse Broadcasting felt betrayed by ABC after so many years of loyalty; at the time, channel 13 had been affiliated with ABC longer than any station not owned and operated by the network. As a safeguard, it began to shop for an affiliation deal of its own. Eventually, Westinghouse agreed to a longterm affiliation contract with CBS. As a result, WJZ-TV and its sister stations in Philadelphia and Boston became CBS affiliates (Westinghouse's two other television stations, in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, were already CBS affiliates).

The affiliation switch, the second in Baltimore television history, occurred on January 2, 1995, ending WJZ-TV's 47-year link with ABC. As a result, channel 13 became the third station in Baltimore to affiliate with CBS. The network had originally affiliated with WMAR-TV in 1948 before moving to WBAL-TV in 1981. Westinghouse then bought CBS in early 1996, making WJZ-TV a CBS owned-and-operated station.

WJZ-TV has used its current "Stylized 13" logo, using a font face exclusive to Westinghouse Broadcasting, since 1967. The only real change came in May 1997, when it added the CBS Eye to its logo. WJZ currently does not brand under the CBS Mandate, preferring to use its call letters.

WJZ-TV is the Baltimore-area affiliate of the It's Academic high school quiz competition. Channel 13 has also served two stints as the television home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, and has been the over-the-air home of the Orioles since 1994. It is one of the few "Big Three" stations that airs baseball on a regular basis.

Digital television

WJZ-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station had been broadcasting its pre-transition digital signal over UHF channel 38, but returned to channel 13 for its post-transition operations.[5][6]

The switch caused problems for some viewers, but WJZ-TV has been granted a power increase that helps some people.[7]


Soon after Westinghouse bought WJZ-TV, it significantly beefed up the station's news department. Within a few years, it passed WMAR-TV for second place. Like the other Group W stations, WJZ-TV adopted the Eyewitness News format pioneered at sister station KYW-TV in Philadelphia. By the early 1970s, WJZ-TV had passed WBAL-TV for first place—a lead it held for over 30 years. In recent years, however, WBAL-TV has taken over the top spot at 5, 6 and 11 p.m., though WJZ-TV is still a strong second. However, in the official November 2009 Nielsen ratings sweeps period, the first since the debut of The Jay Leno Show (which airs on WBAL-TV), WJZ-TV has returned to a dominant position at 11 pm for the first time since the early 2000s.

WJZ-TV was the first station in Baltimore to hire a full-time consumer reporter, as well as the first station to organize an investigative reporting team. In 1965—shortly after it adopted the Eyewitness News format – Wiley Daniels became the first African-American anchor in Baltimore. He worked alongside Jerry Turner, one of the most popular anchormen in Baltimore television history. Between 1977 and 1987, Jerry Turner and Al Sanders were the top news team until Turner's death. Denise Koch succeeded Turner upon his death in 1987; she remains at the anchor desk alongside Vic Carter, who succeeded Sanders following the latter's death in 1995. Like other CBS-owned stations, channel 13 offers a web only newscast, "WJZ At Your Desk", shown weekdays.

Since 1987, WJZ-TV's news theme has been "Chroma Cues" by Music Oasis, which was specifically written for the station.

On October 25, 2009, WJZ-TV became the third Baltimore station to begin airing newscasts in high definition; WMAR-TV is the only station left in Baltimore without HDTV newscasts.

Out of market coverage

In Delaware, it is carried on Comcast in Sussex County. There is no coverage in most of Kent County except in the area of Chesapeake City for Atlantic Broadband cable subscribers. There is no coverage in all of New Castle County. New Castle and Kent counties are part of the Philadelphia market, which also carries KYW, the market's CBS affiliate. Only Sussex County is part of the Salisbury, Maryland market which carries its CBS affiliate, WBOC.

In Maryland, the eastern shore communities of Cambridge, Pocomoke City, Ocean City, Salisbury and Snow Hill carry WJZ. These areas are in the Salisbury market which WBOC is carried. From Hagerstown and west towards Cumberland, WJZ is carried there as well in the far northwestern part of the Washington, DC market. Interestingly, between Hagerstown and Cumberland, the towns of Hancock and Oldtown do not carry WJZ.

In Pennsylvania, it is carried in Waynesboro which is part of the Harrisburg-Lancaster-York market. Two other CBS affiliates are carried on cable which are WUSA out of Washington, DC and WHP out of Harrisburg.

In Virginia well west of Washington, DC in the far western end of their market, WJZ is carried on cable alongside with WUSA, the CBS affiliate for Washington, DC. It is carried on cable in the Shenandoah Valley in Elkton, Front Royal, Luray and Winchester.

In West Virginia, it is carried in the Martinsburg area. It is part of the Washington, DC market, which carries WUSA as well. In Keyser, Mineral County, WJZ is carried on cable.

WJZ's analog signal could be picked up via antenna as far west as Warrenton and Culpepper, Virginia and as far east as Salem County, New Jersey.

There is no satellite coverage outside of the Baltimore market for WJZ.




  • Vic Carter - Eyewitness News @ 4:30, 6 & 11 PM
  • Kai Jackson - Eyewitness News @ 4 & 5 PM
  • Denise Koch - Eyewitness News @ 4:30, 6 & 11 PM
  • Don Scott - Eyewitness News Morning Edition & @ Noon
  • Mary Bubala - Eyewitness News @ 4 & 5 PM/General Assignment Reporter
  • Jessica Kartalija - Eyewitness News @ Noon/General Assignment Reporter
  • Gigi Barnett - Eyewitness News Weekend Morning Edition/General Assignment Reporter
  • Kellye Lynn - Fill-In Anchor for Eyewitness News Morning Edition, @ 4, 5 or 6/Healthwatch Reporter
  • Adam May - Eyewitness News Weekend/General Assignment Reporter


  • Marty Bass - Eyewitness News Morning Edition & @ Noon
  • Bob Turk - Eyewitness News @ 4, 4:30, 5, 6 & 11 PM
  • Tim Williams - Eyewitness News Weekend Morning Edition (also anchors) (Certified Meteorologist)
  • Bernadette Woods - Eyewitness News Weekend (Certifed Meteorologist)


  • Stan Saunders - Weekend Sports Anchor/Sports Reporter
  • Mark Viviano - Sports Director @ 6 & 11 PM


  • Sharon Gibala - Eyewitness News Morning Edition, @ 4 & 5 PM/General Assignment Reporter on Sunday Mornings
  • Kristy Breslkin - Fill-in Traffic Anchor


  • Suzanne Collins - Investigate Reporter
  • Alex DeMetrick - General Assignment Reporter
  • Andrea Fujii - General Assignment Reporter
  • Mike Hellgren - General Assignment Reporter
  • Weijia Jiang - General Assignment Reporter
  • Ron Matz - General Assignment Reporter/Guest personality on the "Eyewitness News Morning Edition"
  • Kelly McPherson - General Assignment Reporter
  • Mike Schuh - General Assignment Reporter
  • Derek Valcourt - General Assignment Reporter
  • Pat Warren - General Assignment Reporter

Other On-Air personalities

  • Captain Mike Perry - SkyEye Chopper 13 Pilot/Reporter

Notable alumni

  • George Bauman-one of Maryland's first television reporters
  • Randy Blair- weekend sports anchor, deceased
  • Rick Brinkley
  • John Buren
  • Nick Charles- now with Fox Sports

Andrea Koppel-daughter of Ted Koppel

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Your Esso Reporter (1950s-1960s)
  • Channel 13 News (1960s-1972)
  • (WJZ) Eyewitness News (1972–present)

Station Slogans

  • There's Only One 'JZ (mid 1990s)
  • Baltimore's Most Watched Newscast (1992–2002)
  • Baltimore's News Station (2002–2008; primary)
  • Complete Coverage (2002–present; secondary)
  • Maryland's News Station (2008–present; primary)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^,_Baltimore#Television_Hill
  5. ^ CDBS Print
  6. ^
  7. ^ Dickson, Glen (2009-06-22). "WPVI Gets Power Boost From FCC". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  8. ^ Michael Olesker, "Here's a Royal cheer for a charitable guy", The Baltimore Examiner, May 20, 2008, p. 6.

External links


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